Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julie Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable
soul---and hidden sorrows of her own.
Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master---a man her mother would never approve of---but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother's tattered heart?
My thoughts: The Regency novel presents the reader with word pictures that capture the imagination and fill the mind with visions of loveliness, gentility, culture, customs, and drama. Julie Klassen has done this in her novel The Dancing Master.
We meet delightful characters whose individual voices and actions are well-crafted so that the story evolves revealing multiple stories intertwined with the end result a beautiful tapestry.
The leading lady, Julia Midwinter, is a bit spoiled and a mite flirty. She desires to leave the small community and the village matriarchal family home in which she has grown up and sally forth into the bigger world to discover wonders and delights.
The leading gentleman, Alec Valcourt, is a dancing master recently of London and now settled in the village with his mother and sister. There is a cloud hanging over them and Alec must establish himself as a dancing master in the village, in spite of the cloud, to support his family. He is challenged by the flirtatious Julia Midwinter and the wholesale ban on dancing in the village.
While dancing, or the subject of dancing lessons, is a primary focus of the story, the other characters’ lives, histories, and interactions with each other lend dimension and depth to life in the village. The climax of the story has some surprises for the reader other than the anticipated sweet romance between Julia and Alec.
I found The Dancing Master an enjoyable read and encourage those who enjoy Regency novels to indulge.
GIVEAWAY: I have the wonderful opportunity to host a giveaway of Julie Klassen's book The Dancing Master for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win. Just use the handy-dandy Rafflecopter entry form below and enter as often as possible. Begins January 13 & ENDS February 5. Open to continental USA addresses only.
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About the author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Purchase a copy
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Dancing Master in exchange for an honest review which I have given. No compensation was received and opinions expressed are solely my own.